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Mindful : June 2015
6 Laugh at yourself If you make a gaff at work, don’t beat yourself up about it—instead, take a moment to laugh at yourself. When some- one else screws up publicly, help to lighten everyone’s load by having a laugh about it (and don’t worry that the mistake will not be taken seriously; they usually are; the laughter just cuts excess tension). 7 Makea laugh-list Start building a list of go-tos for getting your giggle on, so when you need some relief, you don’t have to look too hard to find it. Browse YouTube, ask your friends for their favorite sta ndup bits, dig out your dusty old Seinfeld box set, or take to Netflix, where you can find an impressive array of full- length comedy specials. 8 Keep it nice Don’t laugh at others’ expense. It’s the stuff of misbehaving children, and you’ll feel bad later. On the other hand, try not to beat yourself up if you do laugh at something that ’s a little inap- propriate. Humans do do that. (Yes, do do, that’s also funny.) 9 Make someone else laugh Having a sense of humor isn’t always about you. Give the joy of laughter to someone else—a coworker, a cashier at the grocery store checkout, a friend who’s having a bad day, even a baby—it’s guaranteed to lift your spirits. 10 Bring back the joke! Time was people told each other jokes—well-timed little stories with punch lines—at parties, in the office, at din- ner. Having a joke at the ready is often a very handy thing. It can break the ice and liven up an evening. Lea rning to tell a good joke can be fun too; it involves super-precise timing and a good feel for how the mind makes leaps when it hears a joke. As John Cleese points out, since comedy is about the unexpected—a nd the unexpected gives a creative and joyful jolt to the brain (which we experience 26 mindful June 2015 how to live a mindful life PHOTOGRAPHS:©BORODAEV/DOLLARPHOTOCLUB,©ISTOCK.COM/EDDWESTMACOTT